Your resume is your first (and, sometimes, only) chance to impress potential employers. But how can you make your nursing resume stand out in a sea of qualified applicants? A good resume, in any industry, avoids generic language and long blocks of text. The key to is to use short sentences and bullet points that highlight the skills and strengths that will make you an asset to that company.
The same is true for your nursing resume. Nursing requires a unique set of skills and it is important to highlight those skills in a relevant way on your resume.
Ten Tips for Making Your Nursing Resume Stand Out:
1. Focus on Your Experience.
Expand on your experience in your field. Include achievements and accomplishments attained while at each position. Include any specialized work you have done, along with the age groups of people you’ve worked with. Do some research on the company you are applying to and tailor this section to their focus area. That doesn’t mean you should omit other experiences, but you should give some extra attention to areas that are especially applicable.
2. Highlight Your Clinical Nursing Skills.
Nurses are required to wear many hats. Highlight the skills in which you excel. Express your value on your resume.
3. Name Your Character Qualities.
Don’t be modest when writing your resume. Aside from your knowledge, what makes you a great nurse? Showcase your kindness and compassion when dealing with patients while touting your expertise. Talk about your problem solving when all the cards were stacked against you.
4. Cite Specifics.
Don’t be vague about your achievements. Cite specific examples of how you use your skills and qualities on the job. List certifications, education with years graduated, and references. Some items may date you, but you can balance that out by showing strong experience and continuous learning.
5. Share Your Nursing Philosophy.
Instead of objectives, many resumes now include a career philosophy. What do you believe makes a good nurse? Why are you a nurse? Let your passion for your job show on your resume.
6. Add Your Technological Experience.
Technology is a huge part of the healthcare industry. Highlight your skills with medical technology. Draw attention to your knowledge and how it is needed in a medical field.
7. Document Your Continuing Education.
Whether you have continued your nursing education formally or informally, this needs to be on your resume. The healthcare field is constantly changing and adapting to new advancements in medicine; show how you have kept up your education and how you continue to learn in your field of expertise.
8. Use Industry Keywords . . . To an Extent.
You want to make it clear you are well-versed in your field. Use specific keywords that are related to the job you are applying for. However, be careful not to overuse keywords. While resumes are supposed to be short, you also want them to have sustenance. Use keywords where they naturally feel appropriate.
9. Proofread Your Resume.
Nurses need to be aware of the smallest details. Show your attention to detail by carefully proofreading your resume. A resume filled with mistakes and typos will head straight to the reject pile.
10. Use a Neat and Clean Format.
While it is tempting to use jazzy fonts and eye-catching layouts to make your resume stand out, it is very unprofessional. Format your resume with an easy-to-read font; short, quality sentences; and bullet points. A potential employer will only take a few seconds to scan a resume, so make sure he can spot your qualifications easily.
Nurses are in high demand. Put your best foot forward to secure one of those opportunities. Having a professional resume that skillfully highlights your experience and achievements is the first step in securing the nursing job you really want.